Merck Foundation and Ghana First Lady announced the Winners of “Merck More Than a Mother” Fashion Awards to break Infertility Stigma

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MMTM Fashion Award winning designs by Jacob Adjetey from Ghana.
  • The winners got an opportunity to exhibit their designs at the Fashion Show held during the 6th Edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary.
 

Merck More than a Mother Fashion Awards Ghana

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany announced the winners of “Merck More Than a Mother” Fashion Awards in partnership with H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Ambassador of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’. The award winners who are students at Ghana Fashion Academies got the opportunity to exhibit their designs at the Fashion Show held during the 6th Edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary, which was attended by African First Ladies and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information, Education and Science from more than 25 African Countries.
 

Merck More Than a Mother Fashion, Media & Film Awards ceremony of Ghana

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother emphasized “We initiated the “Merck More Than a Mother” Fashion Awards across all Africa with the aim to deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say ‘No to Infertility Stigma’ through their designs hoping to create meaningful fashion trend to educate their communities that ‘Fertility is a Shared Responsibility’, this fashion award is part of Merck more than a Mother community awareness. And We are happy today to acknowledge Ghana fashion award winners and looking forward to celebrating the rest of the winners across Africa”.  

The awards attracted many applications, out of which, 6 best designs were chosen by the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ committee along with The Office of First Lady of Ghana.

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, H.E Fatima Maada Bio, The FL of Sierra Leone, H.E Clar Weah, The FL of Liberia , H.E Esther Lungu, The FL of Zambia presenting the award to Augustina Annan , winner of MMTM Fashion Awards

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Merck More Than a Mother Fashion Award Winner Ms. Augustina Annan from Ghana presenting some of her winning designs.

H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother stated, “It was very nice to see the designs prepared by our future fashion designers. The creativity they showcased through their designs was applaudable. The message came out clearly through their work.”

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The winners of the “Merck More Than a Mother” Fashion Awards of Ghana are:

  • Mr. ERIC GRUNDBERRY AIDOO
  • Ms. KEZIAH ANSAH-MENSAH
  • Ms. AUGUSTINA ANNAN
  • Mr. BOYE DOE DAVID KUSI
  • Ms. SOLACE SAKAH
  • Mr. JACOB ADJETEY

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, H.E Fatima Maada Bio, The FL of Sierra Leone, H.E Clar Weah, The FL of Liberia , H.E Esther Lungu, The Fl of Zambia presenting the award to Keziah Ansah-Mensah , winner of MMTM Fashion Awards

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Merck More Than a Mother Fashion Award Winner Ms. Keziah Ansah-Mensah from Ghana presenting some of her winning designs.

The awards winners were granted $500 each to execute and showcase their designs. The winners were greatly welcomed by African First Ladies and Ambassadors of Merck More than a Mother, who handed them the awards themselves during the ceremony. 

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp and H.E Hinda Deby Into, The FL of Chad presenting the awards to Boye Doe David Kusi, winner of the MMTM Fashion Award

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Merck More Than a Mother Fashion Award Winner Mr. Boye Doe David Kusi from Ghana presenting some of his winning designs.

“No designer has ever, or would ever, say that he or she wanted to make things difficult for women. Fashion industry has already got enough flakes for being superficial. Fashion designers should be the story teller of their community, they should be the voice of the voiceless. Therefore, these awards are our efforts to change the perception and create a meaningful fashion trend aiming to break the silence and educate our communities that Women are more than just Mothers and Men are more than just fathers.” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, H.E Samira Bawumia, The Second Lady of Ghana presenting the award to Jacob Adjetey, winner of the MMTM Fashion Award and his winning design

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, H.E Fatima Maada Bio, The FL of Sierra Leone, H.E Clar Weah, The FL of Liberia , H.E Esther Lungu, The FL  of Zambia presenting the award to Eric grundberry Aidoo, winner of MMTM Fashion Awards

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, H.E Gertrude Mutharika, The FL of Malawi presenting the award to Solace Sakah, winner of the MMTM Fashion Award and her winning design

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Designs by Merck More Than a Mother Fashion Award Winner Ms. Augustina Annan from Ghana 
 

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;

“Merck More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck More than a mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.
With “Merck More than a mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child. 
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Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda. 
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck more than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;

  • Merck More than a Mother media recognition award and health media training
  • Merck More than a Mother fashion award
  • Merck More than a Mother film award
  • Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
  • Children storybook, localized for each country

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About Merck Foundation

The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth.

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